101 Things I Learned in Law School
by Vibeke Norgaard Martin with Matthew Frederick
Vibeke Norgaard Martin is a lawyer who has practiced commercial litigation and civil rights law. She has also taught law at U.C. Berkeley. Here are some of her insights on how to think like a lawyer.
“Honesty and truthfulness are not the same thing. Being honest means not telling lies. Being truthful means actively making known the full truth of a matter. Lawyers must be honest, but they do not have to be truthful… Counsel may not deliberately mislead the court, but has no obligation to tell the defendant’s whole story.”
“Intent can be essential; motive rarely is. Motive is the reason someone has for committing a crime. It can help the prosecution identify and indict a defendant, but it doesn’t provide direct evidence of guilt. Personal financial difficulty, could suggest an individual had a motive to commit a robbery, but it provides, at best, only circumstantial evidence that he did so. Intent is the resolution to commit a crime. A defendant’s possession of tools for breaking a safe suggests an intent to commit burglary and theft, and may serve as direct evidence of his guilt.” Continue reading
Urgent Care: 10 Cures for America’s Ailing Healthcare System
by Minda Wilson, J.D.
As I write this in early 2017, there is much chatter about the potential repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) commonly known as Obamacare. I was motivated to read this book to get beyond the myopic hysteria and gain a deeper understanding of the problems and possible solutions presented by healthcare attorney Minda Wilson.
“The United States has the world’s highest [per-capita] healthcare cost, double that of Canada… The number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is due to overbearing healthcare costs… A devastating illness means that, beyond your deductible, you could be responsible for a minimum of 30 percent of the medical bills incurred if you stay in-network. If you go outside of your network, then you could be responsible for between 50 percent and 100 percent of every bill.”
Wilson asks, “Why did the [ACA] focus on providing insurance and not healthcare?” I think this is the fundamental issue. The cost of insurance is a function of the cost of claims. So if the main focus is on subsidizing premiums, the law simply masked the underlying problem rather than solving it. “To be clear, deductibles, copays, and/or the costs of excluded care or limits on care were not included in this measure of affordability.” Continue reading
Intellectual Property Law: Legal Aspects of Innovation and Competition
by Kurt M. Saunders, J.D., LL.M.
Intellectual Property Law covers trade secrets, patents, copyrights, trademarks, the right of publicity, protecting intellectual property internationally, and best practices for the handling of unsolicited ideas. Selected cases illustrate the legal theory with real-world conflicts, and explain the legal precedents established by the courts.
Although written as a business-school textbook, this book would also be a pertinent reference for professionals in a range of industries in the knowledge economy. Awareness of the law can help executives protect their rights and stay out of trouble.
In a global economy, how do you fight counterfeit products? What can you do about gray market sales? The chapter on international aspects explains the relevant treaties, notably the TRIPS Agreement, as well as the role of the WTO and the ITC.
What happens when a small business, which has been using a common law trademark for 50 years, is sued for infringement by a newer company which has registered the trademark with the USPTO? The answer is that concurrent use is allowed until the federal trademark owner competes directly. One of the purposes of trademark law is to prevent confusion in the mind of the consumer as to the origin of the product. Continue reading
Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes & Records: How to Run Your Nonprofit Corporation So You Don’t Run Into Trouble, Second Edition
by Attorney Anthony Mancusco
This book offers some good insights for anyone who serves on the board of a nonprofit organization, especially the board secretary. If the board of directors ignores its bylaws and state nonprofit laws, the organization could lose its tax-exempt status. Director liability is another concern. Continue reading
Contracts in the Real World: Stories of Popular Contracts and Why They Matter
by Lawrence A. Cunningham, J.D.
In this highly-informative book, Lawrence Cunningham explains contract law by analyzing contemporary cases, many involving well-known names such as Lady Gaga, Conan O’Brien, Eminem, Michael Jordan, Frank and Jamie McCourt, JP Morgan Chase, and Sprint. The author is a law professor at George Washington University. Continue reading